Tuesday, May 17, 2016

MY LADY JANE Was So Punny It Hurts

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 with 3 comments
Title: My Lady Jane
Author(s): Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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For fans of The Princess Bride comes the comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.

Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.

This alternate version of the events leading up to and following the subsequent nine-day reign of Lady Jane Grey is equal parts hilarious and fantastical. I knew little of Lady Jane's rise to the queenship, but now I know the real story. *wink, wink* And it was ever so much fun!

I've read and adored series by all three of The Lady Janies, so I knew in my heart of hearts that this was going to be a worthwhile endeavor. They each have their own voice as they each write one of three perspectives: King Edward, Lady Jane, and Lord Gifford. I'm pretty sure I figured out which author wrote which POV early on, but I won't hazard a guess here because I don't want to spoil anything. Besides, it's more fun to guess!

This story is not historically accurate; it's not intended to be. But the aspects from history that were included made it feel as if this could have been how things really happened. It's a flight of fancy, I know, but I would like Jane to not have lost her head in the whole ordeal. There was entirely too much of that "off with her head" business back in those days for my liking, anyway.

That Eðian business was particularly refreshing, though. It's not mentioned in the synopsis, but it's apparently on the back cover, so I don't feel I'm revealing too much by discussing it. Besides, it's essential to the plot and also the dividing factor in the realm at this point. [In this version of history, at least. ;0)] Which means it should be as much up for discussion now as it is in the book. Where all the citizens of the queendom do is fight about it or try to master their animal change...or both. It's all rather mysterious and hush-hush, but in the best way possible. I wish I could change in to an animal at will. I would just prefer to pick which animal. =)

My Lady Jane is remarkably hilarious. It pays homage to favorites like The Princess Bride and Monty Python and other classics, while also including quips from more recent obsessions of mine, like Tangled. ("Frying pans. Who knew?") I alternated between loving these allusions...and not. They were funny until they became a little forced, a little too much for the specific moment. But most of the time, I treasured their wit and playfulness amidst the direness of the situation. The horse jokes DID NOT QUIT and they were perfection. And the remarks from the narrators (read: authors) throughout the story were equally funny and definitely made me feel like I was Fred Savage while reading this book. (If you don't get that reference, I don't think we can be friends.)

This was quite a story. It was just missing that je ne sais quoi that would have made it a five-star read for me. Maybe it was the fact that Lord Gifford wanted to be called G? That just did not feel right at all. Maybe it was the fact that it felt like the nods to other comedies were overused, that I would have loved to see more of the authors' own brands of humor integrated into the story? I'm not certain. But the voices were distinctive. The characterization was neatly done. The romance was pretty adorable, as well. And the story was clever as all get out. So it must just be me.

I think this story will resonate with fans of historical fiction and fans of the comedic genius of those movies listed above, alike. It's punniness sure had me cackling like a lunatic from beginning to end. I hope The Lady Janies collaborate like this again, to much ensuing hilarity.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

We're the authors of the upcoming young adult novel, MY LADY JANE, which will be out with HarperTeen on June 7, 2016. Our group is made up of Brodi Ashton (author of the EVERNEATH series and DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY), Cynthia Hand (New York Times bestselling author of the UNEARTHLY series and THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE), and Jodi Meadows (author of the INCARNATE and the ORPHAN QUEEN series). Between the three of us we've written thirteen novels, a bunch of novellas, a handful of short stories, and a couple of really bad poems, but this is the first time we've taken a stab at writing a book together. We're friends. We're writers. We're fixing history by rewriting one sad story at a time. See THE AUTHORS tab for more information.

Find The Lady Janies:

Website | Twitter


  1. I have heard of this book, but now I really want to read it! I actually don't really like historical fiction, but I cannot resist a book with puns. I'm obsessed with them (especially if their cringey). And Tangled? You've won my money. Fabulous review! :)

    ~Anna @Adventures with a Book Nerd

    1. I LOVE PUNS SO MUCH! I hope you love this book...it's really quite funny and just kind of adorable. =)

  2. I didn't know that this one wasn't historically accurate so it is good to be aware of that now~ It sounds like this was a lot of fun and a real good laugh when reading, which made it all the more enjoyable. I love books like this and I'm so glad you were able to enjoy it ;)


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